Most everyone is aware now that the state of Illinois is closing all restaurants and bars from dine-in customers. Most stores have reduced their hours if not completely shut their doors for the time being. Reports from NBC Chicago say that there are now 1049 cases of COVID-19 in Illinois. We want everyone to stay calm and safe in this scary time. 

For tips on social distancing, here is an article from The Atlantic outlining what you should and should not do. To learn more about what is happening in Illinois, check out this Chicago Tribune article

As many events are being canceled this week in Champaign-Urbana and everyone is advised to spend as little time as possible around people, this week in town has changed to what to do in your house. Hopefully you find this helpful, and try to make the most of your week with all the uncertainty and worry. Here are a few ideas for how to spend time in your house that aren’t just binge-watching Netflix! 

Make a Blanket Fort

A favorite childhood activity was to make your own tiny fort inside! Take ALL the blankets you have and make a cool hideout. Get creative and use as much as you can to make it awesome. Couches, coat trees, kitchen chairs, turned over tables. Anything you want to make it a cozy place to escape to read, nap, or watch movies. 

Reorganize Your Place

Though maybe not as fun for most people, this time inside can be a good time to be productive and organize your house/apartment. With the extra free time, you could go through clothes and see what can be donated to help others and spruce up your room to create a refreshing space. Moving furniture around can also help if you feel the cabin fever starting to set in. Put on your favorite playlist or podcast and get to work! It can be really relaxing and satisfying to get organized. For tips on how to organize, check out this article

Learn How to Draw

There are several fun tutorials for drawing that you could try while at home. All you need is a pencil, paper, and patience! Drawing or coloring is a good way to take a break from screens while getting your creative juices flowing. Check out these beginner tutorials that anyone can do! One for drawing flowers and one for drawing animals. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect; it’s all about having fun. 

Bake or Cook 

Since going out and grocery shopping can be a bit of a risk now and many of the stores have empty shelves, getting creative with the food you have has become pretty important. If you can, try making up a new recipe to make the food you have more exciting. Take a little extra time in the morning to make homemade pancakes or bake cookies in the afternoon. Here are a few recipes that don’t require many ingredients, but are delicious and fun to make!

3 Ingredient Pancakes 

5 Ingredient Salsa Chicken

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies 

Do a Yoga or Dance Class

As we spend a lot of time at home, it can be very easy to just chill all day. While relaxing is totally fine and definitely necessary to relieve stress during this weird time, it’s also important to move around and take care of our bodies. Although gyms are closed, there are many workout videos you can find on YouTube. Doing a 10 or 30 minute workout, yoga, or dance video will help you feel better emotionally and physically. Some of my favorite channels for fitness are SarahBethYoga, Fitness Blender, and POPSUGAR Fitness. Get moving and try something new! 

Get Some Fresh Air

The Harvard Medical School recommends exercising outside instead of at a gym. They say to just keep at least 6 feet of distance between you and another person. The national parks are closed, but hopefully there is a nice place to walk by your house or in a local park. Being outside can help improve mood and get blood flowing.